View from the top of the 2014 Olympic ski jumping complex near Krasnaya Polyana.
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (July 22) - The U.S. Nordic Combined Team gave high marks to the Olympic ski jumping complex for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. The USA joined some of the top teams from around the world for a weekend of FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix competitions on the jumps and roller ski track near Krasnaya Polyana. Four Americans cracked the top 10 over the weekend with Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) taking second Saturday and winning Sunday's finale.
U.S. Nordic Combined Team gave high marks to new Olympic ski jumping complex outside Sochi, Russia
Todd Loddwick (Steamboat Springs) was second in opening Summer Grand Prix Saturday with Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY) seventh
Lodwick took the win Sunday with Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) seventh and Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) 10th.
It was the first test of new FIS ski jumping uniform rules for the nordic combined athletes with numerous disqualifications.
QUOTES Dave Jarrett, U.S. Nordic Combined Head Coach We love this place! The hills are great and the course is very challenging. It will be interesting to see what the winter conditions will be like as well.
Bryan Fletcher First impressions were definitely shock and awe on our team. Everyone was very surprised by the enormity of all the construction. Considering there was nothing in the valley before the bid was approved, they have certainly made a tremendous amount of progress, however, without a doubt, still have a lot to do. We all thought the enormity of the project was very cool.
The organization of the event was great. Being that this was the first international event they have hosted, everything went very smooth. The people were extremely nice and informative.
We learned a lot about Sochi on this trip. We also got to go for a dip in the black sea which was quite refreshing. The NC XC course was very challenging. Made worse by the extreme heat and humidity. The temperatures exceeded 95 degrees every day with 100% humidity. Which personally is not my condition. I struggled very hard to race in these kind of temperatures. T
he jump is excellent however. I was very confident on the hill and had a blast jumping this weekend. I am very excited for this winter's competitions here. Overall it was a weekend that was well worth the trek here. To see the hill, understand the projects, and where the venues will be was very cool. I am looking forward to seeing the progress when we come back this winter.